Plaid Cymru calls for a wide range of powers, including policing and criminal justice, to be devolved as soon as possible
A poll for tonight's Sharp End shows that an Assembly election now could give Labour an overall majority, with Conservative losses to UKIP
A report published today says there should be more care options for care for older people,.
Assembly Members have passed a motion of censure on Bethan Jenkins, following the Plaid Cymru AM's conviction for drink driving. She was not in the Senedd for the debate and was criticised for not following the example of Keith Davies, the Labour AM who apologised when he was censured last year.
– Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black
[Keith Davies] stood before us and apologised in person. That was appropriate and honourable. [Bethan Jenkins] is not even in the chamber. I consider that absence to be disrespectful. I would have expected that she would have publicly repeated to us the apology that she reportedly gave to her group [of Plaid Cymru AMs] for her behaviour. I am sorry that has not happened.
The Welsh Secretary has confirmed plans to push ahead with some major changes to the way the Assembly is elected, but David Jones has also confirmed that constituencies won't be redrawn following the collapse of similar plans for parliamentary boundaries.
The UK Government now intends to introduce the following changes:
- A permanent move to five-year Assembly terms
- An end to the ban on candidates standing in both regional and constituency parts of the election
- A new ban to prevent Assembly members from simultaneously sitting as MPs
– David Jones, Welsh Secretary
These changes will allow us to further strengthen the National Assembly for Wales and the Government will bring forward legislation to effect these changes at the earliest opportunity.
Today marks the start of the 46th British Irish Parliamentary Assembly plenary session in Donegal.
Politicians from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, and the Irish and Westminster parliaments all attend the event which lasts for three days.
The Welsh Government says that AMs from Wales will aim to put the country at the forefront of any projects that will see Irish and UK cooperation on renewable energy.
– David Melding AM, Deputy Presiding Officer and lead delegate
The UK Government is currently considering plans to import wind power from Ireland to the National Grid via cables under the Irish Sea to north and west Wales.
It is estimated the £6bn scheme will generate enough power for three million UK homes, but more importantly from Wales's perspective, the economic potential is great.
BIPA is a very important in terms of cross-parliamentary relationships, so it is right that myself and my colleagues attend these sessions to ensure that Wales's voice is heard loud and clearly.
Plaid Cymru has made its demands for the transfer of powers from Westminster to Cardiff Bay, a week after the Welsh Government unveiled its ambitions. The party claims that devolving a wide range of powers should happend as soon as possible. Policing and criminal justice head the list.
They were top of Carwyn Jones' more gradual proposals as well. Plaid also wants natural resources and energy policy handed over, when the Welsh Government only asked for control of water and said nuclear power should be excluded from the devolution of energy. Plaid Cymru's other demands include:
- The Food Standards Agency
- Electoral Arrangements
- JobCentre Plus
- The Crown Estate
- A separate civil service for Wales
– Plaid Cymru Constitution Spokesperson Ieuan Wyn Jones AM
We believe that having these powers in Wales will make the devolution settlement work better and ensure that the Welsh Government will be more accountable to the people of Wales. Plaid Cymru has long made the argument for the transfer of powers over criminal justice, energy and broadcasting to the Welsh Government. It is in the Welsh national interest for decisions on these to be made in Wales, particularly for a Welsh way of policing and justice, environmental sustainable development and ending the democratic deficit in the Welsh media.
Plaid Cymru agrees with the Welsh Government that Westminster's role should be limited to a list of specific powers, with everything else automatically devolved. It claims that the proposals it's submitting to the Silk Commission on the constitution are 'comprehensive, reasonable and realistic'.
– Plaid Cymru Parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd MP
There must be greater consistency in the devolution settlement. The reserved powers model in both Scotland and Northern Ireland should be adopted in Wales to provide greater clarity for where powers lie, rather than the current opaque system. This will increase efficiency and accountability for the Welsh Government. Now that Wales makes its own laws, there is an obvious need for a Welsh legal jurisdiction to reflect this, and this should be introduced quickly, followed by Welsh policing and criminal justice powers. Scotland and Northern Ireland both have these powers.
The First Minister is calling for a wide range of new powers to be devolved to the Welsh Government.
Control over policing, and speed and drink and drive limits are some of the additional powers.
They've been listed in a Welsh Government submission to Westminster as ministers there decide on the future shape of devolution.
They also want more discussion between the two governments over who has the final say on large scale non-nuclear energy projects and a wide range of other functions. Our political reporter Owain Phillips has been looking at what's on the First Minister's shopping list.
Rachel Banner, leader of True Wales, the group that campaigned against further devolution of powers to Wales says: ''It's pretty clear that Welsh Ministers, one by one, are cutting every tie that binds us to the United Kingdom.''
There's been an unenthusiastic response to Carwyn Jones' demand for more powers for the Assembly from the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, the two parties that have long advocated that devolution should go further.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats' leader, Kirsty Williams said Labour should have acted on the recommendations of the Richard Commission, set up when her party was in coalition government with Labour. She said Welsh Labour had only found its voice once the party had lost power at Westminster.
– Welsh Liberal Democrats' Leader Kirsty Williams AM
It is now time for the Labour party to make their stance clear on the matter. Does the Shadow Welsh Minister, Owen Smith MP, support these proposals? Does Ed Miliband support these proposals? If not, then one must wonder how significant these proposals actually are. As we all know, the Welsh Labour Government has traditionally had very little influence over their Labour colleagues in London. The people of Wales have a right to know what the Labour party’s position is on this.
There has been no response from Leanne Wood and her newly established Plaid Cymru leadership team but a party spokesperson issued a statement accusing the Welsh Government of delay and also questioning if Carwyn Jones had secured the backing of the Labour party for his demands.
While we are pleased with the direction of travel from the Welsh Government, this is very much a slow lane approach that would still leave the major levers of power at Westminster. The question is not just which powers should be transferred to Wales, but when they should be transferred.
– Plaid Cymru spokesperson
It seems that these proposals involve kicking a lot into the long grass. Why, for example, should criminal justice powers be devolved in principle but not practice? This submission to the Silk Commission comes from the Welsh Government and not the Labour Party, so we look forward to reading the official submission from the Labour Party when it is presented.
The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has called for powers over areas like policing, tax and alcohol licensing to be devolved to Wales.
Carwyn Jones made a statement this morning saying "Decisions that affect Wales should only be taken in Wales."